Bali Restaurant Review: Kajin Japanese Contemporary Sushi
“When in Bali, eat Japanese food,” said no one ever. But holy moly, best decision ever! We are definitely returning to Kajin the next time we visit Seminyak. Truth be told, we initially had our reservations about Kajin’s food quality (we couldn’t find a blog review despite it being open since 2015), but all that skepticism were instantly washed away by the superbly fresh sashimi.
The best part is: We ordered eight dishes, tea and beer and only paid approximately S$25 each. The five of us did a double take at our receipt and did cartwheels inside our heads – such an indulgent meal in Singapore would have seriously cost at least twice or thrice the price.
While most travellers rave about Merah Putih, Motel Mexicola and Potato Head Beach Club and coin these three as the must-visit dining destinations, Kajin was the only establishment that impressed us from the very start till the very end with regards to every aspect. The 18-seater Japanese restaurant — characterised by an enthralling display of light bulbs — is truly a gem.
We kick started our scrumptious dinner with Trio Carpaccio (RP$65,000 / S$6.60), an entrée which comprises thinly sliced seasonal fish carpaccio with seaweed salad, olive oil and garlic soy dressing. My girlfriends were all hungry ghosts on the prowl and I only got to try the tuna carpaccio. Oh well, you snooze, you lose! I’m sure the salmon and snapper tasted good too.
You won’t go wrong with their Salmon Special Aburi Roll (RP$110,000 / S$11.20). Look at those decadent pieces of sushi roll! Each exquisite bite-size portion is filed with prawn and avocado, then topped with seared salmon, black caviar and drenched in rich salmon mayo aburi.
Kajin’s Sushi Aburicious Deluxe (RP$110,000 / S$11.20) is a must order. Each premium aburi nigiri — beef foie gras, salmon caviar, prawn tobiko, scallop and unagi — was presented on an elevated wooden platform. The melt-in-your-mouth scallop was so heavenly, it almost sent me to tears.
Needless to say, the Boat Sashimi Set (RP$180,000 / S$18.30) was the next most photogenic dish. Assorted fresh sashimi of the day (ideal for sharing between 3 to 4 pax) were presented atop a bed of ice in a wooden boat. We thoroughly enjoyed the thick cut of luscious salmon sashimi! The tuna and red snapper were alright, but obviously cannot beat the ones in Tokyo, Japan.
Sashimi and sushi aside, Kajin also serves amazing gourmet aburi chirashi and steak teriyaki rice bowls at unbelievably affordable prices. PLEASE order both of these awesome creations. Looking back, I regret sharing these with my girlfriends.. Should have gotten a bowl all to myself! Yup, it’s that good.
Their Aburi Chirashi Rice Bowl (RP$135,000 / S$13.70) boasts torched salmon, butterfish, meltique beef, yellowtail hamachi, tuna negitoro and tamago. The rice bowl is completed with chopped spring onion, Japanese prawn roe, black caviar, sesame seeds and wasabi.
Kajin’s Steak Teriyaki Rice Bowl (RP$150,000 / S$15.20) is hands down one of the best beef bowls we ever had. Think juicy, tender, meltique beef slices marinated in teriyaki sauce and served with a flawless 63-degree onsen egg. So yummy that we were speechless upon first bite.
We also had the Calamari Butter Yaki (RP$40,000 / S$4.05) and Ebi Tempura Mayo (RP$85,000 / S$8.65), which are great alternatives for the annoying ones who insist they do not dare to eat raw (or partially raw) food. While these cooked dishes were delicious, we would honestly rather spend our monies and calories on the sashimi, aburi and steak instead.
Click here to see Kajin’s entire menu.
Address: Jalan Petitenget 98Y, Level 2 Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia